Totalscope construction and landscaping canberra

Decks & Pergolas


Outdoor living and entertaining is a big part of the Australian lifestyle and a low maintenance deck and pergola can transform your backyard into an inviting and relaxing space.

Adding a built in fire pit to your outdoor design would be a useful inclusion for the Canberra climate. Depending on the type of fire pit installed, it may be possible to transform the pit into a water feature when the weather warms up, linking your outdoor space to the changing seasons and your use of the area.

Deck designs have come a long way since the skinny surround that was the standard in the 1970s and 80s. These days multi layered and architectural shapes are the norm. Mitred internal and external corners, half circles, uplighting and marine wire around handrails all add to the professional and modern feel of a deck.

One of the most important decisions to make for your deck will be your choice of timber. We have seen many Oregon decks that have rotted out within a decade of being built. Twisted boards, boards screwed on upside down and decks built directly onto the ground (reducing air circulation) are also common. None of them go the distance. We will give you sound advice on the type of timber suitable for the Canberra area and how to maintain the timber for years into the future.


Depending on your lifestyle, a composite or man-made decking material may be more suitable for you. No regular oiling required and the options and finishes on the market provide an interesting alternative to timber whilst also giving value for money.

There are many choices when it comes to the fixings for a deck – from hand nailing with a stainless steel twist nail through to nailing with a gun. We will guide you on the best fixing to match your chosen timber.

Building approval is required if you are building a deck over 25 square meters or attaching a pergola to your eaves. Anything above a metre off the ground will also require building approval and a handrail - we will complete all the approvals required for your build.

The deck pictured above and below was built at a townhouse in Mawson. We levelled the site, dug the hole for the spa and the umbrella, installed the drainage for the spa and then built the deck. The completed deck includes a spa surround with storage box. A box was also built for the hot water heater located adjacent to the deck.



The four level deck (pictured below) was built using Swan River Red Gum decking and treated pine perimeter beam and treads, painted to match the house trim. The deck and surrounding hedging plant (Pittosporum Green Pillar) successfully hide the original concrete steps and landing. Leaving the previous landing in place also gave the new deck a good fixing and level to work from and reduced tip fees. The handrail complies with Australian regulations for the distance between the marine wire. The balustrade was custom built and powder coated to the customer's colour specifications.